Winston Churchill, Fernand Petiot, Ernest Hemingway- all of these men (and more) are credited with creating the illustrious fan favorite: The Bloody Mary. While the origin is questionable and rooted in loose history of one man’s claim over another, we can all agree January 1st calls for some “hair of the dog” after the champagne infused party we all attended that stretched into the early hours of the morning.
I feel like Bloody Mary’s are something you acquire a taste for. From starting off drinking sweet things and light beers, the Bloody Mary is a full bodied punch in the taste buds that a youngin’ might not fully appreciate. My first Bloody Mary experience at 23 left me questioning “WHY on God’s green Earth would anyone ever drink this soupy, boozy rubbish.” And then 2 years later at Murphy’s in Atlanta, I had my first experience that made me clamoring back for more.
I was hooked from then on out. Ordering Bloody Mary’s over Mimosas each time we’d go out for brunch. What changed in 2 years that made me rethink my initial judgement of the Bloody Mary? That question I am not certain the answer, but I am certain that Bloody Mary mix is constantly stocked in my pantry with some black pepper vodka for just the hungover brunch at home occassion.Which leads us to today: National Bloody Mary Day. January 1st. A day for nursing that champagne headache, eating black-eyed peas and collard greens for wealth in the New Year, and resetting yourself for the new year to come. A Bloody Mary is a very simple cocktail to execute: pick up some Bloody Mary mix (I like the Savannah or Charleston brand), mix in some black pepper vodka (for an extra kick) and garnish with whatever is in the fridge: pickles, okra, capers, shrimp, limes, cheese, bacon, celery- you name it, it’s being put on a skewer and stuck in that drink. I made this one a little fancier than my typical concoction and whipped together a salted old bay rim and skewered my accouterments with a festive tassel skewer.
So whether it was Churchill, Hemingway, or Petiot that created the first Bloody Mary, the only thing that matters is that we now get to enjoy this fantastic “Holiday” as a testament to their good taste.
Cheers to the New Year.